The Way - Day 202 (John 21)

Daily Reading:
John 21
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
Has following Jesus become a stale experience for you or have you experienced a stale season of Faith? Discuss among the group your current struggles of faith or share testimony of a stale season, sharing things that happened to bring to bring you back to a deeper commitment as the disciples showed in chapters 20-21.
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 100:4-5
OPTION 2: Proverbs 24:16
OPTION 3: Matthew 7:5-6
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for John 21 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
JOHN 21:1-25
In a quiet, yet informative, ending to John's account of the life and ministry of Jesus, the reader is able to experience some conclusive thoughts about the events following Jesus' resurrection. The scene takes place at the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee where the disciples (21:1-2) and many others were awaiting Jesus' return. He had given them instructions to wait for Him there (see Matthew 28:16-17). While anticipating Jesus' appearance, Peter and the other disciples decided to go fishing, but they did not catch anything that night (21:3). The next morning, "Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus" (21:4).

Following His resurrection, there were several instances when Jesus appeared, but people did not know it was Him (Luke 24:16; John 20:14-15). Jesus then speaks from the shore to His disciples.

"'Children, have you any food?' They answered Him, 'No.' And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish" (21:5-6).

John, the writer of this gospel, immediately recognized that the man who had spoken to them was Jesus (21:7). The disciples rushed to the shore where Jesus had supernaturally prepared breakfast for them (21:8-9). Jesus commands them to bring the fish that they had caught to Him, so Peter drags the net full of 153 fish to the shore (21:10-11). Jesus' miraculous provision of the fish is a reminder to His disciples that He will provide for them, even after He is gone.

The disciples finished eating breakfast with the Lord (21:12-14) and then He spoke directly to Peter, who had earlier denied that he knew Jesus (John 18:12-27). He asked him "Do you love me more than these?" (21:15a). Jesus' question was in reference to the fish which surrounded Peter. Since Peter's profession was fishing, Jesus was asking whether he was willing to abandon his life as a fisherman to be fully committed to Him. Peter responded, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You" (21:15b). His response indicates that although Peter loved Jesus, he did not love Jesus supremely. Jesus and Peter were using two slight variations of the word love. Because Peter had denied Jesus, He was unwilling to express an unwavering love and commitment to Jesus out of fear for another failure.

In response to Peter's hesitant commitment of love, Jesus says "Feed My lambs" (21:15c). Jesus is requesting that Peter be responsible for shepherding the people who follow Him and be wholly devoted to His service. Jesus asks a second time, "Do you love Me?" Peter responds saying, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You" (21:16). Jesus then commands Peter to "Tend My sheep." When Jesus asks the question a third time, He uses the same word Peter had been using for love…more of a wavering love. John writes about Jesus' third questioning of Peter.

"He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?'" (21:17)

Peter knew that Jesus was questioning whether he was fully committed in his love for Him, which caused Peter to be sorrowful. Peter says to Jesus, "'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep'" (21:17). In a striking revelation, Jesus reveals to Peter that he would be fully committed to Him and eventually give up his life for the sake of Christ (21:18-19).

History records that Peter would be martyred almost 30 years later by being crucified upside down by the wicked emperor, Nero (AD 67-68). Jesus' prediction of Peter's future martyrdom is proof that God can greatly use those who have failed Him in the past. Upon hearing about his future martyrdom, Peter expresses concern for his close friend, John, and asks Jesus about his future (21:20-21). Instead of revealing John's fate, Jesus commands Peter to focus only on following Him in the present (21:22-23).

In the conclusion of his gospel John writes…

"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen" (21:25).

Jesus had performed many more works that John did not even have room to document; however, as an eyewitness of Jesus' ministry, John felt that he had provided sufficient truth so that people would “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (21:24; 20:31).

Dear God, thank You for John's personal account of the life and ministry of Jesus. Help those who have read his words to believe that Jesus is the Savior and Son of God.